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Places in Time

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jcohen's picture

A quick intro:

This is intended as a venue for historical scholarship about places in the Philadelphia area, in a venue that is collaborative, immediate, and rich, easily accommodating texts, images, and other media.  It would ideally involve a small community of participants, where an initial post would become fodder for a conjunction of evidence contributed by others. 

It may look like a blog, but the idea is to move toward something less singly authored, combining the credited contributions of many, or at least several, and to develop things responsively, in real time, but building things up as a resource (which means figuring out how to make this persistent or archivlble, but more on that later). Recent work together has demonstrated that there is a potential in our collective interests and energies that is circulating ephemerally mainly in our mutual emails and conversations, for perhaps eventual surfacing through publications that could be years down the road, if they ever find a print home.  This new venue might allow us to put that valuable work somewhere that is not only visible, but encourages more collaboration, leveraging our mutual complementarity in terms of research interests and skills.  A key scruple might be the transparent connection of evidence, clearly cited and often brought in or linked, where permissions allow -- to show vs. simply cite.

One type of example of a starting point might be a descriptive historical text posted by one person that invites others to add details of maps, views, documents, data from directories or deeds, historiographical references, or analysis regarding that place that help us better understand its genesis or evolution.  Another type of example might be an historical image, say a map, print, or photo that begs our collective curiosity and our postings.  Or a third could be a current place that kicks off our collective probing and contributions.

For now, perhaps our small cabal of about a half dozen gets the power to post and contribute contextualized material on others' postings, while the world can see.  But maybe we'll figure out a more expansive model, where we harvest, vette, and repost offerings from beyond out initial circle, or expand that circle.  So far, I'm including jmd, avw, ael, jm, mjl and jc.


wunsch's picture

Here's a New Thread

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

jcohen's picture

Sartain's Recollections of 1830s Philadelphia

In 1897, the 25th Annual Report of the Fairmount Park Art Association (Philadelphia, 1897), pp. 29-36, published some descriptive recollections of the Philadelphia of the 1830s offered by the artist John Sartain (1808-97).  The actual meeting was held in October 1896; Sartain would pass away a year later.  The text of this report has been posted by the Hathi Trust at;view=1up;seq=14.